I said I’d talk a bit about the valuation office survey for house history and family history, which I foolishly promised last week. I will do, but first…
I’ve spent the last couple of days in the world of tourism, pressing the case for ancestral tourism as a domestic market to keep people in the UK, and a huge international hook to reach out to people around the world with British and Irish ancestry. On Thursday, I was speaking at the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Ancestral Tourism seminar, held in Inverurie. It was a fascinating session, and great to hear from Gillian Swan from Visit Scotland who curates the Ancestral Scotland brand to a predominantly international audience, but wants to generate more interest internally. We had delegates from hotels, restaurants, family and local history societies, tour operators, tour guides, archives, museums, libraries and council representatives, as well as local businesses interested in the commercial potential. It was great to see that there was already a marketing platform and website, bringing resources together, but the general consensus was that more could be done to unlock a huge market, with benefits to all. Lessons to be learned south of the border, which was emphasised on Friday when I attended the Historic Towns Forum conference on heritage, culture and tourism at Blenheim Palace; Lady Cobham, Chair of Visit England, confirmed that this was an area they were interested in but wanted to talk more about the potential, whilst recognising that it was a large area of interest. There were several fantastic presentations, but one that stood out as having immediate benefit for practitioners of family history and genealogy was www.tripbod.com, which allows people to create and offer bespoke local services for people wanting to find out more about an area. What better way to connect with visitors from other parts of the UK, or indeed overseas, so that you can share your passion for research, local services, graveyards and museums and create a mini-business showing people around? The Ancestral Tourism Partnership will be talking more closely with the company about how the resources online might be tweaked for genealogists.
And so to the 1910 Valuation Office records; these are at The National Archives, and come in two parts – the maps, in series IR121-IR135 which can be located by the postcode of your house through the onsite terminals that provide access to TNA’s Labs; or via traditional finding aids in the Map and Large Document Room. Once you’ve found the right map and located your property, make a note of the red hereditament number that was assigned to it, and look it up in the field book – these are in series IR58, and each property has four pages full of detail, including owner, occupier, type of property, date of former sales, and a description. These are great records, and link closely with the 1911 census so well worth checking.